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Analysis finds N.H. trailing neighboring states in COVID vaccinations for kids under 5

Families waiting at the Currier Museum vaccination clinic. To the left of the line, children drew pictures and wrote messages like “Get Vaccinated” and “Kids understand what is going on!” on the pavement with chalk.
Alli Fam
/
NHPR
Clinics like this one at the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester were held around New Hampshire after the COVID-19 vaccine was authorized for kids ages 5 to 11 last fall.

This story was originally produced by the New Hampshire Bulletin, an independent local newsroom that allows NHPR and other outlets to republish its reporting.

New Hampshire is 14th among all states for the number of children under 5 who’ve received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. It ranked Vermont and Massachusetts second and third, respectively.

The data was released in late July, about a month after the Food and Drug Administration gave emergency use authorization to Pfizer’s vaccine for children ages 6 months to 5 and Moderna’s for children 6 months to 6. The Pfizer vaccine is given in three doses, the Moderna vaccine in two.

The Kaiser Family Foundation is tracking uptake of the new COVID-19 vaccine for children 6 months to 5. New Hampshire ranks 14th in the nation, with 3.5% of that age group having received at least one dose.

More from NHPR: Kids as young as 6 months can now get the COVID vaccine. Here’s how to find it in N.H.

According to the analysis, 3.5% of the New Hampshire children under 5 had received at least one dose as of July 22, the most recent data available. That’s above the 2.8% national average but lower than all New England states besides Rhode Island, which reported 3.2% of its under-5 population had received at least one dose. The foundation used data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for its study.

The state Department of Health and Human Services is recommending parents get their child vaccinated at their pediatrician’s office. If that is not an option, there are 10 public health centers offering vaccines for children under 5, as well as dozens of Rite Aid, Walmart, and Walgreens locations, according to a vaccine map at vaccines.nh.gov. There are significantly fewer pharmacy sites listed in the North Country, but there are several public health centers.

The department has also posted responses to frequently asked questions about the under-5 vaccine at that site.

Kaiser Family Foundation ranked the District of Columbia first at 14.4%, Vermont second at 10.3%, Massachusetts third at 7.2%, Maine sixth at 5.7%, and Connecticut ninth at 4.7%.

The number of fully vaccinated Granite Staters over 5 is much higher at nearly 72 %, according to the CDC. The number is even higher among those over 65 (95%) but significantly lower for those over 50 who’ve had a second booster dose (27.6%). Maine leads among New England states in second booster doses at 40%.

New Hampshire Bulletin is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. New Hampshire Bulletin maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Dana Wormald for questions: info@newhampshirebulletin.com. Follow New Hampshire Bulletin on Facebook and Twitter.

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